Rosemary Smith

Rosemary Smith, Dean of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing, has been named the recipient of the Richard H. Wells STAR Award.

The University Staff Council Richard H. Wells Star Award celebrates the character, passion and commitment of non-classified faculty or staff member who has supported the advancement of UW Oshkosh University Staff. This award is named after Chancellor Wells because he was so instrumental in giving the University Staff a voice on campus.

She was nominated by Brenda Garza, Budget and Policy Analyst for the College of Nursing.

Portions of Smith’s nomination follow:

“Rosemary Smith began her career at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) College of Nursing (CON) in September 1977. She was hired as a master’s prepared nurse to teach Community Health Nursing. Some of the comments written on her original contract, which at the time included statements of the chairperson or director, were “…highly motivated, articulate and dynamic nurse with many and varied capabilities. Interested in doctoral education. Rosemary would be an asset to the community nursing faculty and to the College of Nursing. She is a dynamic person and should be a fine role model for students.” Dr. Smith was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1982, earned her PhD in 1993 from UW Madison, was named the undergraduate program director in 1994, added to her education with an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber license and promoted to Associate Professor in 1998, named the Graduate Program Director in 2000, appointed as the CON Interim Dean in January 2005, and became the Dean in May 2006.

“Since she began at UWO she was a member of every single University and College Committee she was eligible for, including two at the University of Wisconsin (UW) System level. This totals more than 60 different committees over the years and many she served on several times. This number does not include the committees she served on in the community, in the state or in the nation.

“Part of Rosemary Smith’s philosophy is her belief in shared governance. This belief was not only with faculty and academic staff, but with all university staff. As the Undergraduate Program Director and then Graduate Program Director, she was able to continuously work for shared governance. Once she became Dean, she was able to institute her process to the fullest. The CON Classified Staff (CS)/University Staff (US) were no longer looked at as non-participating members to the success or failure of the CON.

“Dr. Smith began by having regular meetings with the CS/US only. She made them aware of her vision for the CON and for the staff. Little by the little the office staff became more invested in the CON outcomes. Regularly the CS/US would be asked for their opinion on not only simple things like office decorations, but also on office and CON policies and procedures. If the CS/US felt the need to have a new policy or procedure, and Dr. Smith felt it was appropriate, she would say move forward and create it. If a new policy/procedure was recommended by the faculty/staff, she always asked the opinion of the CS/US and if the policy/procedure effected their work outcomes. If there was additional burden to the CS/US, she worked with the CS/US to create a more efficient way to institute the policy/procedure and how to divide the additional workload. Often times she came back from College or University meetings with the statement that she had to make a decision on something but she told the group she would need to talk to her CS/US first. That is commitment to the idea of shared governance.

“Dean Smith supports the membership of CS/US staff in organizations that will benefit the staff member in their area of work. She approves of attending conferences and tuition reimbursement for continued education. If the education a CS/US member is pursuing would enhance the College of Nursing, she has regularly approved reimbursement up to the highest amount possible. She actively gets the CS/US involved in campus activities and allows time for the participation of such.

“Each year, Rosemary supports CS/US day. She does this by allowing any CON CS/US staff to attend, and supports it with donated items and financially as well. During several years when a Dean’s challenge was started by the College of Business Interim Dean Don Gudmundson, Dean Smith was not only supportive of the challenge, but actively participated by raising the stakes.

“Her service to the CS/US, the CON, the UWO, the UW System, the surrounding community and the nursing profession reflects a deep commitment to not only the UW organization, but to humanity as a whole. Dr. Smith not only lived the CON vision, “The College of Nursing will build upon its tradition of developing caring and scholarly leaders who positively impact contemporary and future health care”, she is the vision.

“Dr. Rosemary Smith’s engagement and immersion with all staff in the CON and University speak to the quality of her character and demonstrates how she embodies the vision of the CON. There is no one more deserving of the Richard H. Wells Star Award for her passion and commitment to the advancement of UW Oshkosh University Staff.”

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